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Minnesota didn’t ‘drift’ from the plan, got rewarded with ‘huge win’

Apr 22, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT

You would’ve excused the Minnesota Wild for getting frustrated. Last night, this is how badly they dominated the Colorado Avalanche:


By the time Mikael Granlund‘s diving goal slid past the spectacular Semyon Varlamov for the 1-0 overtime victory, the Wild had outshot the Avs, 46-22, and held the previously high-flying Colorado offense in check.

“It felt like we were taking it to `em pretty good, so to not get frustrated at that point, not start to drift and get away from our game, that’s what good teams do,” coach Mike Yeo said, per the Associated Press.

Drifting away from the game plan can be particularly dangerous against the Avs. Colorado may not control the puck like the league’s elite squads do, but there aren’t many teams that can punish their opponents’ mistakes with such a deadly transition attack.

For example, this is what can happen when you get a little careless at the Avs’ blue line:

Game 4 goes Thursday at Xcel Energy Center, and all of a sudden the Avs, despite still leading the series 2-1, are facing some adversity. Not only do they need to bounce back from yesterday’s disappointing outing, they’ll have to do it without puck-moving defenseman Tyson Barrie, one of the keys to that aforementioned transition attack.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. This is a huge win for us, not only to get the win but the way that we played the game, the way that we played our game,” Yeo said. “We know that next game is going to be even bigger and a tougher test, and we’re going to have to be real good. But there’s no question that we needed this one.”

  1. clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Losing Cooke will hurt. His relentless physical play and driving intensity was a huge part of that victory last night. I’m almost hoping the suspension goes 6 games so he can wait, then appeal it Weds and play Thursday night while under appeal…

    Koivu? You’re not just there for face-offs… This team needs more from you.

    • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      I think you’re right that losing Cooke will hurt, but I disagree with you that he should try and fight it so he can play another night. Get it over with and take your punishment like a man. An unfortunate incident it was last night, but it happened and he should have to face the consequences and not give the Wild another night of service (and I am a Wild fan), as the Avs don’t get Barrie.

      Also agree on the Koivu remark, tho the face-off wins were quite helpful in controlling the puck and dominating like the Wild did last night. He does need to kick the offense back in gear (as limited as it’s been for his pass-friendly mentality over the years) and give the Wild something in the way of points.

      The Wild will need to come out aggressive and intense again, just like last night, if they hope to keep in this one.

      • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Purely from a tactical standpoint–you do everything within your means that the rules allow to lace up your best players. If the CBA offers the appeal process for suspensions 6 games and beyond–then it certainly makes sense to utilize that since the trade in gaining a playoff game now for Cooke is easily worth an extra game at the beginning of next season…

        The reason they provide for that appeals process is that these suspensions are purely judgment calls–meaning subjective…and a big part of that is assessing intent. It’d be stupid for them not to appeal if it means trading a game next season for a playoff game now. Besides–there’s no downside to an appeal. It’s not like they are going to INCREASE the suspension under appeal. It’s no-brainer.

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        I understand what you’re saying…just don’t agree with it. It is possible to agree to disagree, and on this point we do.

        I felt the same way about the Williams wall challenging their suspensions to play longer in the NFL and nothing will change my mind just because “it’s allowed”.

        It’s kinda akin to saying that it’s OK for GM to get bankruptcy protection for these lawsuits over the ignition issues because the ignition issues happened when it was legal for them to do so. However, they did intentionally mislead investigators, investors and the public about the ignitions from the time they were installed until this big hubub began. So…it’s technically LEGAL to do so, but it’s just scummy, dirty and underhanded and leaves a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths. I will likely never buy another GM car because they can’t stand behind their own decisions…I’ll buy Ford if I insist on an American car company from now on…

      • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        So you’re basically saying that, with 100% certainty, Cooke’s intent was to injure and, no matter what subjective punishment is decided–he should just accept it no matter what? Take his punishment *like a man*, eh?

        They have appeals for this sort of thing because those deciding the punishments can potentially get out hand–and start doing things like throwing down double-digit numbers just for the name on the back of one’s jersey…

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Please stop warping my words, you have a tendency to do that to people you feel you’re “arguing” with… What I’m saying is that Cooke should not be able to get on the ice for an extra game before he’s suspended. I in no way said I believe he intended to injure, because, if you look at other posts on here I obviously stated the EXACT opposite.

        I also agree that it’s a good thing to have these appeals. If anyone was bound to be railroaded due to the name on his sweater it’s Cooke (and I’d guess we’re likely to see it forthcoming). I just don’t feel that he should be able to postpone his punishment for an extra game, that’s all. If he is to be punished, get it over with.

      • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Fair enough, ignath… I get it–it’s the process of the procedure you find objectionable. That’s cool…but I can tell you from a practical standpoint–you’d lose your job as a head coach in this league if you just walk away from a free pass provided under the CBA to play Cooke in this vital game on Thursday night…

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Oh I agree with that too…just doesn’t make me feel better about the issue. Yeo and anyone who didn’t utilize the “FREE PASS” would likely find themselves looking for new gainful employment fairly quickly.

        Perhaps the solution would be to change the rule so that the NHL was required to hear the appeal BEFORE the next game the player is scheduled to play.

  2. hosewater2 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I can only hope the adversity you’re referring to is the loss of Barrie, not the Fenwick chart, though I honestly fear your referring to the latter.

  3. lbeezyse - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Being at the game the Wild dominated the game start to finish. Cooke played a great game & it’s unfortunate that his knee on knee will shelve hi, for the series. I just really hate the fact that Dustin Brown continually gets away with crap like that & Cooke who has really cleaned up his game will be suspended. I give credit to Varlamov for keeping the Avs in it.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      couldnt agree more

  4. 950003cups - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Yeoooo! Put back Dizzy Bryzzy. You know better than everyone in the NHL.

    • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      You do know that the Wild didn’t have much other choice at the time right…Kuemper was barely back from an injury in Game 2 and I don’t blame Yeo for not starting him, plus it wasn’t Bryz fault that Game 1 was lost…

      Kuemper basically got his confidence back the last 10 of Game 2, which drove him into the strong game he showed last night.

      If he were to start Bryz next game, however…

      • guitarisgood4u - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        If he were to start Bryz next game, he’d find himself unemployed, lol.

  5. c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    well well well , listen to the wilds fans now. bunch of matt cooke fans now arent you?

    told you that was going to happen when the season started. really good hockey player.

    too bad he did that…he had such a good track record going. he hasnt been suspended in the last 3 seasons, so MAYBE he gets a little reprieve. it wasnt a horrible play, but you gotta give him 2-4 games.

    • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      I for one respected his change in game when he went to Pitt and was more than happy to see a player of his grit come to the Wild…they were sorely missing it. He is a good hockey player and it’s a shame that his current play can’t make up for the past mistakes that people still hold on to.

      I also agree with your sentiments on his current track record. No issues in the last 3 seasons and (at least in my opinion, having watched the hit multiple times), no real intent to injure with the hit last night. It did go bad, however and I agree that he should have to take his medicine like a big boy.

    • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Agree completely. It wasn’t as bad as people are making it out to be, but there is no question it’s a suspension.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        It was deliberate with intent to injure.

        The video evidence was quite clear.

        The fact that you, or anyone, could even defend it or even rationalize it, perhaps due to your team allegiance, is disgusting.

        That has no place in hockey and he’s beyond a repeat offender.

        He should be suspended for the remainder of the playoffs, but since the Wild will most likely not exit the first round, it should carry 10-20 game sentence into next season.

        The next offense should be a permanent ban.

        Enough is enough with this guy.

        He’s the perfect remorse free candidate to make an example of and the policy to protect players from deliberate intent to injury needs to be far stricter.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        hey man, you should go complain and cry on a Bickell post then too. Where’s his suspension? Oh it’s because he didn’t hurt Sobotka? I bet if Cooke did this and Barrie was fine you would be ok with it too……..this happens in hockey, not the first and not the last.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        I bet if Seabrook wouldn’t have been suspended and Sobotka was injured, there would (and should) have been a suspension.

        But again, when Dustin Brown gets to do this without reprisal, how can the league suspend anyone else for it with a straight face?

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        The fact that the league continues to dish out discipline based on the injury (or lack thereof) is an issue. Hopefully they can come to a better conclusion on how to handle these.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Yay! A logical fallacy!

        They’re two separate incidents.

        Bickell does not have the history of intent to injure.

        He should have been suspended for that knee.

        Cooke has a history of intent to injure.

        The video evidence is very clear of his intent.

        He’s been suspended enough where they don’t mean anything to him.

        The NHL should, and hopefully will, come down hard on him and set an example.

        The fact that you’d defend a person/player like Cooke says more about your character than it does about the person condemning him.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        You know zero about me pal, I can tell from the absolutely awful way you write that you are a bad person. There, happy? I find it amazing that you know his intent was to go out there and hurt someone, really great talent you have. Once again, I already said it should be a suspension but of course your tears are blocking your vision.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:02 PM

        If it were the playoffs and he was still on Pittsburgh and did this to Ryan Suter, (I know I know, there’s no chance in hell that the Wild would ever get to the Finals but it’s just an example), you’d be singing a crying a different tune for still the wrong reason.

        Keep defending a scumbag simply because he’s on your team. You’re in good company.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Damn! I underestimated you! Not only can you go inside of people’s brains to see what they were thinking, you can also predict the future! Any other ground breaking stuff you want to let us know of?

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Nice dodge. Suiting.

        So you actually think the Wild are going to make the Finals anytime soon?

        You do realize that your team has made it out of round 1 once in its 13 year history?

        More times than not, they can’t even make the playoffs.

        “But but … but .. this year is different!”


        Adding delusional to your characteristics …

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Soon? Maybe, maybe not. You said “ever” didn’t you? Or was that a typo due to so many tears falling on your keyboard?

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        You’re right.

        The Wild could very well turn out to be the Vikings of the NHL.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Haha is that supposed to hurt me? I’m not the one crying over a hockey game….I’m sure you contributed a ton to your local team’s success too. Have a nice day.

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        It’s funny you would attack the Wild for that. There are MANY, MANY teams that have not made it out of Rd 1. in the last 13 years…in fact, there were only 13 teams that actually WON the CUP over that period. 13 teams won out of 390 different teams that made the attempts over 13 years…

        Your argument holds no merit and your attempts to disparage the Wild are laughable.

      • bustmustplus - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        idonthavethebloodyoucrave are you a peewee or something?

        Did you learn to write in the south?


        Do you make checklists for a living?

        Quit being a baby, wipe your tears,

        pull up your panties and be a man.

        Barrie made a sally move by trying to

        dodge the hit leaving his

        lowerbody, which includes his knees

        by the way, vulnerable to an oncoming body (Cooke).

        Cooke stuck out his knee no

        more than Bickell did, if at all.

        The video evidence is quite clear of this. Not sure what made up

        video you are talking about.

        Get out of your parent’s basement for Christ’s sake

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      When your team wins something of significance, let us know.

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        When you say something of significance, let us know…

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Too bad we didn’t have Manning to get us to the Super Bowl and wi…I mean lose by 40.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        See me upon the Wild’s exit thread =-)

  6. luvmnsports2012 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Bryz is terrible in the playoffs for some reason! We may have caused some turnovers games 1 and 2 but he NEEDS to stop the puck if he wants to play, Darcy did just that! Great job to Keumper, crappy job by Bryz, most the goals he let in we’re open looks straight thru to the back of the net, period! He should have easily stopped SOME of them…jeez guys! Hopefully we an tie this series up heading to Colorado! We need Keumper to keep it up! He’s a big, fast goalie with some confidence now! Let’s get em boys! GO WILD!!!

    • guitarisgood4u - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      I had the feeling Bryz’ great play was over during the last game of the regular season, (for those who don’t know) he blew a tire playing the puck which led to a Nashville goal. Embarrassing play, and as a former goalie, it’s not easy to be 100% after something like that.

      That being said I’m very glad we have Kuemper back. He looks solid.

      Not to pull a Joey, but this series is thus far playing out exactly as I figured, Avs would take first 2 games, and then the Wild would figure them out and make it interesting.

      • 950003cups - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Dizzy Bryzzy fell apart when he scored the game winning, series clinching goal on himself in game 5 of the 2012 playoffs.

  7. luvmnsports2012 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    @idnonthavetheblooducrave….don’t be dumb! Intent to injure?? Seriously? Why don’t you go back to watching kickball, quit being such a whiner! Hockey is a tough sport and things like that will happen. Do what you have to to win! YEO told them to be physical not sit back and wait for the Avs to play with the puck! Hit hit hit, only way to slow them down, that’s all he was doing was finishing a check, your boy tried to swerve around him and got caught with a knee. Just because it was Cooke you all want his head! Get a grip, play to win, not play to be nice…it is the playoffs!!

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      Take the blinders off. Cooke redirected his knee right into him. You’re just embarrassing yourself now. Not that you’re aren’t used to it but at least you’re complimenting your organization well.

      • bustmustplus - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        You can go ahead and just toss yourself into oncoming traffic. Nobody here will mind…trust me.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        LOL someone is mad…

      • bustmustplus - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        LOLOLOLOL!!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! you are just trolling guy. No worries. I understand. Its easy to talk smack from the comforts of your snuggly blanket while your mom helps you with those lists.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Can’t blame ya though. You do have the Wild, T-Wolves, Twins, and Vikings as sports franchises.

      Gotta be frustrating putting up with that kinda level of embarrassment across all four major sports.

      Hey at least the Twins can remember when they were relevant almost a quarter of a century ago, eh?

      • bustmustplus - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM




        Must troll to survive.

        Mom, help make list better.

        Mom, who are minnesota’s other teams?

        Thank you.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Cope the best you can when the truth stings so hard.

        Four teams of failure, lead by the Wild, will certainly give you a lot of practice hiding from ridicule.

        Don’t forget to see me whenever they post the playoff exit thread for the Wild =-)

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Hey man, sad thing is that the big 4 in Denver haven’t won a championship in 13 years. I imagine you weren’t even alive then.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        What do I care about Denver?

        I couldn’t care what team Cooke was on or who he was playing against. He’s a scumbag. And that fact that you, or anyone, would defend that deliberate intent to injure simply because he’s on your team, is disgusting.

        A spade is a spade.

        You can clearly see from his body positioning that he targets the knee from his initial charge and turns his knee right into him. He has a history of deliberately injuring other players throughout his career. If the fantasy came true and it happened to Suter, we’d be the biggest allies. However, since you’re blinded by your allegiance, your comments are appalling on a basic human level, aside from that of sportsmanship.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Are you just on repeat man? You already said all this….

  8. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Then I guess you’ll know what I’ll say next …

    See me whenever the Wild’s playoff exit thread is posted =-)

  9. purpleguy - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Pretty hard to defend Cooke no matter how you look at it, except something about that bloodyoucrave guy apparently makes folks want to simply argue for the sake of arguing. Definition of a troll: someone who looks forward to a team’s loss so they can mock that team’s fans on a message board. That could just as easily fit the definition of “sad”.

    • spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      A true troll’s troll. I’ll be honest, got sucked in a bit. But then again I allowed it to happen so I had some entertainment for the day!

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